Best Time To Buy Shoes Morning Or Afternoon (Save Big)

The afternoon and early evening tend to offer the best shoe deals and steals. Sales data shows stores discount merchandise deeper as closing time approaches to spur last minute purchases. Late afternoon shoppers will find markdowns applied in the computer system that morning haven’t made it to shelf labels as well as managers eager to reduce inventory before leaving. Thrift and consignment shops also tend to put out new merchandise acquisitions in late afternoon meaning first dibs on goods. Finally, early evening allows you to take advantage of both markdowns and a better selection of discounted goods. So for maximum value, head out in late afternoon and early evening to score the best shoe savings.

Whether you’re looking to update your shoe collection or replace an old pair, finding ways to get quality shoes without breaking the bank can be a challenge.

One simple strategy that many savvy shoppers rely on is buying at the time of day that offers the best discounts and availability.

But when exactly is the optimal time to shop for shoes – morning or afternoon?

In this comprehensive buying guide, we’ll compare the pros and cons of shopping for shoes during the morning hours versus the afternoon.

With insights backed by research and expert perspectives, we’ll outline the discounts and stock levels you can expect.

You’ll learn tips and tricks for scoring deals in shoe stores and websites during different parts of the day.

By the end, you’ll have the knowledge you need to determine the best time that fits your schedule and style – so you can land those new kicks while keeping more money in your wallet!

Why Time of Day Matters

You might be wondering why buying shoes at a particular time of day can impact the deals and selection you’ll encounter. There are a few key reasons why timing plays a role:

Foot traffic – Stores tend to be less crowded at certain times, allowing you more freedom to browse options. Busy periods mean less availability to try on sizes/styles.

Restocking schedules – Most shoe retailers restock overnight or early morning. Mornings often have a fresher selection.

Promotional discounts – Daily deals and short-term sales may only run for a portion of store hours. Knowing the primetime for promotions can lead to better bargains. 

End-of-day markdowns – Some stores apply discounted pricing on display or clearance shoes later in the afternoons or evenings. After a long day, they’re motivated to reduce overstock.

When combined, these aspects mean visiting a shoe store at the optimal time of day improves your chances of scoring quality shoes for less. Now let’s dive into the detailed comparison of mornings versus afternoons!

The Case for Morning Shoe Shopping

Hitting the stores early in the day has some clear perks for deal-minded shoe shoppers. Here are the biggest advantages of getting an early start:

Fully Stocked Selection

As mentioned, many shoe stores receive inventory restocks in the mornings before opening. This means popular styles and sizes that may have sold out the previous day are back on the shelves. Going early allows you first dibs on the freshest shoe selection.

Trying on the actual pair you intend to purchase also becomes easier when stores aren’t yet swamped with customers. No more guessing if that display pair will fit!

Deeper Discounts

While afternoon shoppers do benefit from daily markdowns later in the day, morning offers better discounts on certain higher-ticket shoe styles.

For instance, premium athletic shoe releases from brands like Nike and Adidas are more likely to get price cuts in the morning to boost early sales. Specialized shoes for running, cross-training, basketball etc. see steeper deals before afternoon. 

Shopping early also allows you to take advantage of short-term promotions that expire after lunch. Stores will advertise special 3-5 hour flash sales in the mornings to attract buyers. Arriving late means you’ll miss out.

Fewer Crowds

Unless there is a special sale event, most shoe stores witness lighter foot traffic in the morning. Fewer customers mean a more relaxed shopping experience.

You can better inspect potential shoes without others breathing down your neck. Trying on options is less stressful too. Even shoe websites tend to have faster page loads and checkout processes prior to afternoon spikes in traffic.

For shoppers who despise long lines and crowded aisles, starting early guarantees a lower-key shoe shopping venture.

The Verdict: Hitting the stores first thing in the morning provides the optimum combination of fresh inventory, short-term discounts, and relaxed browsing opportunities. Now let’s examine if afternoons can compete…

The Case for Afternoon/Evening Shoe Shopping 

However, venturing out later in the day isn’t without some shopping advantages too. Here are a few upside to afternoon and early evening shoe deals:

Deeper Markdowns

Remember those display shoes that have been sitting around the sales floor all day without getting purchased? If store management wants to free up shelf space for newer styles, you can score bigger price cuts in the afternoon or evening.

Clearance sections also tend to offer extra discounts later in the day to spur a few sales before closing time. Patience during the day can lead to slashed prices up to 70% off!

Extended Store Hours

Hitting the stores after work or school opens up more possibilities – literally. Weekday morning store hours are generally 10am to noon. But most shoe stores remain open until 8pm or later.

Opting for evenings allows busy folks more flexibility to shop around their existing schedules and commitments without taking time off.

Exclusive Late Night Promotions

Some shoe retailers incentivize shoppers to come in after standard working hours by launching evening-only deals. These may include things like:

  • Big bargains for a specific brand/style that expires at midnight
  • Storewide discounts between 6pm – 11pm only
  • Free branded merchandise with shoe purchases after 9pm

Savvy late night shoppers can cash in on a few of these limited promos to maximize value. Arriving early misses out on these special gains.

Additional Sales Assistance

While mornings offer a welcome lull in crowds, shoppers needing extra sales help might find afternoons more accommodating.

More store associates are available to retrieve other sizes, recommend complementary items, or answer shoe-related questions.

Getting personalized guidance is tougher when staff is occupied during the initial customer influx. Strolling in later allows dedicated one-on-one service.

The Verdict: For flexible buyers without hectic mornings, starting the search later in the day can unlock better clearance prices, special night promotions, and helpful staff attention.

Key Considerations For Your Shoe Shopping Strategy

After weighing the fundamental pros and cons, deciding between morning versus afternoon shoe shopping depends on a few individual factors:

Your schedule – What best aligns with your weekly routine? Accommodate fixed obligations first.

Shoe style urgency – Do you need shoes quickly for an occasion? Morning offers maximum selection. Not in a rush? Sales could improve later on.

Patience for deals – Are you unwilling to pay full price? Afternoons force you to wait but greatest chance for lowest cost shoes.

Preferred store environment – Do you hate crowds or need help from staff? Choose timing based on ideal conditions. 

With this in mind, here is a simple step-by-step guide to picking an optimal time to head to the shoe stores:

Step 1: Write down any fixed morning/afternoon obligations for the upcoming week

Step 2: Determine if you have any immediate shoe needs or can wait for possible deals

Step 3: Decide if steady foot traffic or empty aisles matter more to you

Step 4: Review store hours and note any evening-only promotions offered

Step 5: Select the date/time this week offering ideal discounts, inventory, and shopping atmosphere based on the above factors

Following this decision path results in optimally timing your next shoe shopping adventure!

Top Morning vs Afternoon Shoe Shopping Tips

While choosing the right general time of day is invaluable, you can gain further savings with these pro tips tailored for mornings versus afternoons: 

Morning Tips

  • Set reminders for early online sales ending at noon. You’ll beat expirations.
  • Call ahead to ask if sought-after styles arrived in overnight inventory. Confirm availability before going.
  • Download store apps for exclusive coupons off new arrivals only redeemable before lunchtime.
  • Arrive at opening on truck delivery days (usually Tue/Wed/Fri) for widest selection of latest shoe releases.

Afternoon/Evening Tips

  • Search for printable promo codes usable after standard work hours or expiring at midnight.
  • If you see shoes you like, don’t buy right away. Wait to see if additional markdowns get applied closer to closing time.
  • Near closing, politely ask sales staff about the lowest possible clearance price they can offer if shoes haven’t sold.
  • For 24 hour stores, later at night means fewer crowds AND restocked shelves. The ultimate sales combination.

Maximize your specific shoe shopping destination and schedule by applying relevant tactics from above.

Things To Consider Before Buying

Buying shoes can be a daunting task, but it’s important to choose the right pair to ensure comfort, support, and foot health. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

1. Get Your Feet Measured

  • Have your feet measured by a professional at a shoe store to determine the size and width.
  • Get remeasured at least once every few years because your foot size and shape can change over time.

2. Choose the Right Fit

  • Choose shoes that fit from the start and trust your own comfort level rather than a shoe’s size or description.
  • Wait until the afternoon to shop for shoes as your feet naturally expand with use during the day.
  • Wear the same type of socks that you intend to wear with the shoes.
  • Have the salesperson measure both of your feet and get measured every time you buy new shoes.

3. Consider the Purpose

  • Buy shoes that match your activity or sport.
  • Look for shoes that fit your fashion style while still protecting your feet.

4. Check the Quality

  • Look at the sole of the shoe to ensure it’s thick enough to stand up to everyday wear and provides flexibility and support.
  • Choose leather or fabric shoes that mold to the shape of your foot when worn regularly.
  • Feel the inside of the shoes to see if they have any tags, seams, or other material that might irritate your feet or cause blisters.
  • Turn the shoes over and examine the soles to ensure they provide protection from sharp objects and cushioning.

5. Avoid Common Mistakes

  • Don’t buy shoes that you need to “break in”.
  • Don’t rely on the size of your last pair of shoes.
  • Avoid shoes that have a narrow toe box and don’t provide at least a finger-width gap between your toes.
  • Don’t buy uncomfortable shoes that pinch your feet.

By following these tips, you can find a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes that fit well and promote foot health.


Determining if hitting the stores at the crack of dawn or after work makes for better shoe deals depends greatly on personal factors.

Morning offers overstock resupply and temporary price cuts in a lower-key setting. Afternoons and evenings bring broadened availability, daily final mark-downs, and attentive staff.

There is no undisputed “right” answer on timing. By weighing your budget, needs and shopping preferences, our guide arms you with the insider knowledge for scoring maximum value.

Now confidently set your watch, mark the calendar and bag those dream shoes during shoes’ golden discount hour!

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